Review: “Wrecking Ball,” by Bruce Springsteen
On May 8, 2006, my boss called me into his office. “We have eliminated your position,” he said. “We are letting you go. It’s not because of your work, it’s because…” By this time I had tuned him out, and the only thing I could think of was… how am I going to feed my wife and children?” When I listened to Bruce Springsteen’s grand new effort, Wrecking Ball, this past week every emotion I felt at the time came flooding back.
I was the man in the reflective “Jack of All Trades,” who kept convincing himself that everything is going to be alright even though he isn’t sure how his family is going to make it. I was the lost man in the haunting “This Depression” who told his wife over and over he is hopeful even though he can’t see anything on the horizon. I was the pissed off guy in the powerful “Death to My Hometown” who felt betrayed and stabbed in the back by the “robber barons” who put his family jeopardy because of their ineptitude. I was the guy in the spiritual “Rocky Ground” who discovers the moment when everything is going to be alright and I was the guy in a great new rendition of “Land of Hope and Dreams” who finally sees new possibilities.
Wrecking Ball is simply outstanding. Springsteen has always had the unique ability to tap into the emotions of what is going on and the people who are going through it. His lyrics of despair, depression, hope, and redemption are thoughtful and strong, and are enhanced by powerful instrumentation and rhythms rarely heard on a Springsteen record. Producer Ron Aniello really captured Bruce’s live power on disc for the first time in a long time.
From the opening rocker “We Take Care of Our Own” to the closing “We are Alive” where the narrator rides off into a much brighter sunset, we see a 62-year old rocker still doing work that is relevant and powerful. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb by saying Wrecking Ball is truly some of Springsteen’s best work. He is an artist that continues to evolve and get stronger with each album and I couldn’t be happier.
You can stream Wrecking Ball at Bruce’s official website.